HAGL draw with South Korean champs in AFC Champions League

By Quang Huy   April 25, 2022 | 04:45 pm PT
HAGL draw with South Korean champs in AFC Champions League
Nguyen Van Toan gets excited after equalizing for HAGL against Jeonbuk in an AFC Champions League game in HCMC's Thong Nhat Stadium on April 25, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Hoang Anh Gia Lai drew 1-1 with K-League champions Jeonbuk FC in a group H match of the AFC Champions League in HCMC's Thong Nhat Stadium Monday night.

After their last-minute defeat to Jeonbuk three days earlier, HAGL were confident they understand Jeonbuk’s game better the second time around.

The Koreans continued to dominate the match, nevertheless.

Forward Moon Seon-min, who scored in the previous game, was in the starting lineup. He created the first chance in the fourth minute but the shot went over the bar.

In the first 15 minutes Jeonbuk got five corners. From one of them taken by Takahiro Kunimoto, Seon-min scored with an unstoppable header.

Jeonbuk kept pushing forward, but HAGL’s defense stayed firm.

The Vietnamese started to push back in the last 15 minutes of the first half. Nguyen Van Toan passed to Nguyen Cong Phuong, whose volley went over the bar. Not long afterward Washington Brandao dribbled past a Jeonbuk defender but could not beat keeper Song Bumkeun one on one.

Like in the first game, Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-sik made three substitutions in the second half while HAGL did not have many options on the bench without the squad depth of the other teams in the group.

HAGL kept probing and found weaknesses in their opponent’s defense. In the 63rd minute defender Nguyen Huu Tuan won the ball in midfield and sprinted down the center. His through ball created a chance for Van Toan, who finished cleanly to equalize. It was Toan’s first goal for the club in nearly a year.

Ten minutes later HAGL’s player of the match, with his great dribbling skills and pace, got a second chance to score but shot out.

HAGL kept the pressure on, but seemed to lack the ability to convert chances.

Jeonbuk failed to dominate like they did in the first half. Their best chance in the last 15 minutes was a hopeful shot from Moon.

With one point from the match, Jeonbuk could not claim back the top spot in group H from Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos, who defeated Sydney FC of Australia 3-0.

HAGL moved past Sydney to third place with this draw.

On Thursday they take on Yokohama.

AFC Champions League: HAGL 1-1 Jeonbuk

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